More than one million pensioners will from October should receive an additional £400 each year as th...
More than one million pensioners will from October should receive an additional £400 each year as the new state pension system, Pension Credit, comes into force.
Secretary of State Andrew Smith has today announced that the Pension Credit - which for the first time ever rewards pensioners for saving for their retirement -will be payable from 6th October this year.
Set to top up the income of half of the UK's pensioner households, it will ensure everyone aged 60 and over an income of at least £102.10 per week, or £155.80 for a couple.
The government argues it will also reward people aged 65 and over for some of the savings and income they have put away for their retirement. This means an additional income of up to £14.79 per week, or £19.20 for a couple.
"Pension credit is a huge step forward for pensioners," says Smith as "it will increase the income of millions of pensioners - with more help going to those who need it most".
Pensioners receiving Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) are automatically being transferred to the new Pension Credit system.
Meanwhile pensioners not receiving MIG will be contacted between now and June 2004 through a letter inviting them to make an application.
To "ensure that as many pensioners as possible get what is rightfully theirs," there will be a special 12 months backdating provision until October 2004.
This means that people applying before that date will have their applications backdated to October 2003, or the earliest date of entitlement.
Pensions Minister Malcolm Wicks says:
"Applying couldn't be easier. When you call to make an application our trained staff will collect your details over the phone, fill in a form for you, then post it to you for signing. All you have to do is check we have got your details right then sign and return."
A pensioners weekly net income and savings
decide whether a person is entitled to the Pension Credit or not.
For those who would like to apply for Pension Credit before they receive their mail pack can do so, by calling the Pension Credit Application Line on 0800 99 1234.
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